First edition (US)
|Genre||Suspense / Psychological Thriller|
|Publisher||Coward-McCann (US, 1954); W. W. Norton & Company (US, 2001)|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|LC Class||PS3558.I366 B58 2001|
Mild-mannered lawyer Walter Stackhouse has come to hate his neurotic wife Clara. He has suffered for years as she alienated all his friends and embarrassed him with her penchant for overly dramatic gestures. After he becomes infatuated with the sweet and sensuous music teacher Ellie Briess, Clara jealously attempts suicide by overdose, forcing him into her arms once again. However, he eventually stands his ground and demands a divorce. When Clara is then found dead, having fallen off a cliff during a bus trip to see her dying mother, Walter finds himself blundering around in the dark as the official investigation gets under way. He admits that he stalked her bus in his car, whilst daydreaming about the possibility of killing her at the first stop, just as Melchior J. Kimmel, a 40-year-old bookshop manager, murdered his own domineering wife Helen, an unsolved crime that Walter had read of in the paper and grown fascinated by.
Both Stackhouse and Kimmel soon encounter the formidable, possibly psychotic Lieutenant Lawrence Corby, a police officer with savage ambition who is convinced of their guilt and believes that Stackhouse consulted Kimmel before murdering his wife. Corby soon begins encroaching on his suspects' lives, releasing details of their behavior to the press to distance them from their friends and work associates, and even assaulting Kimmel.
The novel starts off admirably both as suspense and as a deeper analysis of character, but passes the point of no return as the author gropes for (and fails to find) a way out of the intricate situation she has set up. Hardly a successful novel, but an ambitious and largely interesting attempt.
- A French-language screenplay based on the novel was the basis for the film Le Meurtrier directed by Claude Autant-Lara in 1963. Its English release was titled Enough Rope.
- In May 2014, Killer Films and Sierra Pictures announced plans for a film adaptation of the novel to be directed by Andy Goddard and starring Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel. It was released in 2016 as A Kind of Murder.
- Boucher, Anthony (October 3, 1954). "Criminals at Large". New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
- Enough Rope at the Internet Movie Database
- McNary, Dave (May 8, 2014). "Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel Starring in Murder Mystery". Variety. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
- Abramovitch, Seth (September 25, 2015). "Killer Films' Co-Founders Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler on Lesbian Romance 'Carol' and Indie Resilience". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- The Blunderer (book details) - ChooseYourHighsmith.com